New Orleans Dog Rescued from Hot Car After 2 Hours Thanks to Good Samaritan

May 29, 2019

courtesy of the LA-SPCA

Yesterday, thank goodness a dog was rescued from a hot car!!! The Louisiana SPCA Humane Law & Rescue officers rescued a dog trapped inside a sweltering hot car for more than two hours (TWO HOURS!!!) on Tuesday, May 28.

When a good Samaritan and local business owner arrived at work she noticed a dog locked inside of a vehicle parked directly outside of her business. She noticed the window was cracked and watched the car carefully to see if its owner would soon return. When it was obvious that the owner was not going to return, the good Samaritan called the Louisiana SPCA for help.

Upon receiving the call, a Louisiana SPCA Humane Law & Rescue officer was immediately dispatched to rescue the animal in distress. When the officer arrived on scene the recorded temperature was 88 degrees and the dog was panting heavily. Luckily, the window was left slightly cracked and the officer was able to slide the passenger window down to rescue the dog without damaging the vehicle. An impound notice was left on the vehicle and New Orleans Police Department has been given the license plate information.

The call made by a good Samaritan to rescue an animal trapped in a hot car is the first this year, but last year alone the Louisiana SPCA received more than 33 similar calls in Orleans Parish alone. Officers respond to emergencies of animals trapped in hot cars as quickly as possible, but the Louisiana SPCA wants to empower people to rescue animals in distress in vehicles if they are able to, without worry of potential liability.

Drafted and proposed by the Louisiana SPCA, a statewide law went into effect in 2018 that protects good Samaritans from liability for property damage when rescuing an unattended animal or minor from a vehicle.

Conditions:
•    Owner of the vehicle cannot be found
•    Animal must be a cat or dog
•    You must believe the minor or animal is in imminent danger of suffering harm or of death
•    Vehicle must be locked with no other reasonable means for the minor or animal to be removed

Steps to take:
1.    Verbally call out for the owner of the vehicle
2.    Contact local law enforcement (fire, 911, animal control) before entering the vehicle forcibly or otherwise
3.    Use reasonable force
4.    Leave a note on the windshield with your contact information, reason for entry into the vehicle, location of minor or animal and notice that proper authorities have been notified
5.    Remain with the minor or animal in a safe location, out of the elements but relatively close to the vehicle, until emergency responders arrive. If you cannot stay near the vehicle, let local law enforcement know before leaving the scene and take the minor or animal to the closest police station, hospital or animal shelter.

It is important to know that the Good Samaritan law does not protect a person from liability for bodily injury suffered by the minor or animal as a result of being rescued. To read the full law visit www.la-spca.org/legislation.  To report an animal locked in a vehicle in Orleans Parish, call Louisiana SPCA Humane Law & Rescue at 504.368.5191 x. 100.